Lawmakers in Ethiopia on Thursday elected Sahle-Work Zewde as the country’s first female president.
She replaces Mulatu Teshome Wirtu, who resigned from the position on Wednesday.
Ms Sahle-Work is an experienced diplomat who until her election served as U.N. under-secretary general and special representative of the secretary general to the African Union.
She becomes Africa’s only female head of state currently. Her election was broadcast live on state television.
Sahle-Work Zewde will be occupying the ceremonial position, which comes days after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed appointed women to occupy half of his cabinet.
This is the first time the Cabinet for the country is occupied by a record 50% female.
President Sahle-Work was sworn in on Thursday where she promised to promote peace. “I urge you all, to uphold our peace, in the name of a mother, who is the first to suffer from the absence of peace,” she said.
She also told parliament that “When there is no peace in country, mothers will be frustrated. Therefore, we need to work on peace for the sake of our mothers.”
African countries continue to make efforts in bridging the gender gap in political appointments.
Rwanda is international recognized for female representation in government. Women in Rwanda make up 43% of its Cabinet and 61% of parliament members.
The last African female head of state was Mauritian President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim. She resigned in March over corruption allegations which she denied.